Nairobi River Ruins Ksh82 Billion Dam Project

  • An undated image of Thwake Dam construction site
    An Undated Image of Thwake Dam Construction Site
  • Auditor General Dr. Nancy Gathungu has raised concerns over the safety of the water that will be collected in Thwake Dam.

    In an audit report, Gathunga stated that water entering the dam is not fit for human consumption.

    Thwake Dam will source its water from Athi River, which gets a majority of its water from the Nairobi River.

    Nairobi River which is in Nairobi County
    Nairobi River which is in Nairobi County

    Quoting various studies, the report stated that the city river is heavily polluted and water from the river would pose a great health risk to end-users.

    "Nairobi river is heavily polluted with heavy metal and the water is unfit for human consumption,” read the report.

    The report further explained that there was no evidence of efforts being taken to mitigate the risks and ensure the river is free from pollutants before the completion of the dam in November 2022. 

    The construction of Thwake Dam, jointly funded by the government and the African Finance Development Bank, will cost Ksh81.63 billion. 

    Thwake Dam is 37% complete with the first phase costing Ksh42.3 billion, raising questions with the auditor general about the utilization of funds allocated to the project in 2019.

    Gathungu also expressed doubt over the meeting of objectives of constructing the dam stating that it would be harder to secure funding for the three remaining phases due to mismanagement of funds.

    The reservoir is expected to reduce the dependency on rainfall by residents cutting across Machakos, Konza, Makueni, and Kitui areas.

    Thwake Dam is among several government projects to ensure accessibility of clean water and availability of proper sanitization.

    However, these projects have been marred by corruption. Investigating authorities, working with the government, are keen on bringing the perpetrators to book.

    Undated file image of On-going Construction of Thwake Dam in Makueni County
    Undated file image of On-going Construction of Thwake Dam in Makueni County